Winnipeggers reflect on what's changed 1 year after Truth and Reconciliation report
Policies slow to change, but awareness continues to grow, says Indigenous advocate
One year after the Truth and Reconciliation summary report was released, many people are reflecting on what has changed, and what hasn't. CBC hit the streets of Winnipeg to ask people what they think. Here is what they had to say.
'More than ever, I feel like people are beginning to see Indigenous people in a positive light'
Michael Redhead Champagne, Indigenous activist
"Some of the awareness, in the general public, about what happened with Indigenous people in this country has begun to change, have the actions changed? I haven't seen it yet...Every level of government and every institution that engages with Indigenous in this country has to take steps and be able to quantify the steps that they've taken. More people know about the TRC and why it was struck in the first place. More people know about the dark legacy of Indian Residential schools and more people know that Indigenous people are still here and still proud... More than ever, I feel like people are beginning to see Indigenous people in a positive light."
'The TRC report and those recommendations are really important to me and my family'
Jade Harper, Indigenous business owner
"I remember it being a really emotional thing, because my grandmother went to residential schools, she never got to hear anyone acknowledged...she died well before her experience was talked about. The TRC report and those recommendations are really important to me and my family. The word reconciliation is a word that's connected with the TRC. I think that this has created a lot more awareness. I think people are definitely looking into trying to understand the history of this country and the cultural genocide that [was carried out on] Indigenous people."
'Hopefully the Indigenous population can feel like they are being heard and their stories are being told'
Kara Fraser, social work student at University of Manitoba
"The fact that it is being recognized is really important, I think that more people being aware of the issues that have happened is a very important thing. I also think that Justin Trudeau coming into power as the prime minister is a big step in the right direction. Just because he seems to be wanting to help out, wanting to make a lot of changes. I know some of those things haven't happened yet but I have a lot of faith in the current government in that way. Hopefully, the Indigenous population can feel like they are being heard and their stories are being told. Justin [Trudeau] visiting some reservations and talking to people there and actually hearing their stories and being able to be more empathetic that way is a big step."
'I don't think anything has changed politically'
Wade Reitmeier, Urban and Inner-city Studies student at University of Winnipeg
"I don't think anything has changed politically, like with the government or any powerful bodies. I think that there are some changes in the public. The communities that have been working on the issues of racism and colonialism are still working, have been working, and are going to continue to work on these issues. But the government isn't any more supportive I don't think... The government should take into consideration all of the work that people have been put into the TRC report and all the other reports on CFS and all these other issues. I think they should listen to those recommendations and apply them."
'You have so much hurt and pain'
Irma Cook, Urban and Inner-city Studies student at University of Winnipeg
"I grew up in CFS and I think that nothing has changed. I feel like kids need more inner voice. People need to speak out. You feel like you are getting let down by these people. Your goals in life are so slow [to happen] because you have so much hurt and pain."